tv Headline News RT October 30, 2013 8:00pm-8:31pm EDT
coming up on r t a new layer to the n.s.a. surveillance was revealed today the spy agency was able to infiltrate the links for yahoo and google data centers and given them access to hundreds of millions of users data this is why european lawmakers are also demanding answers about u.s. spying on world leaders the latest on that just ahead. and a briefing on capitol hill hosted a pakistani family that witnessed one of their loved ones killed by a u.s. drone attack coming up we'll speak with congressman alan grayson the man who organized the hearing and why he said the issue is so important. and the secretary of u.s. health and human services faces a grilling before congress over obamacare lawmakers are furious over americans facing health care sign up issues and some even losing their insurance coverage the latest from today's hearing later in the show.
it's wednesday october thirtieth and if you have in washington d.c. i'm sam sax and you're watching our team and we begin with a nother edward snowden revelation this one provided to the washington post which reported today that the n.s.a. has infiltrated links to yahoo and google data centers world wide now what this means is the n.s.a. can tap right into data streams carrying information belonging to hundreds of millions of yahoo and google users worldwide including americans and then siphon off whatever data they want into their enormous data bases for example google runs data centers all around the world several in the united states plus several in europe several in asia and one in chile at the links between these data centers are what the n.s.a. is targeting and these links aren't. not encrypted google announced in september
they're working to encrypt their links yahoo doesn't occur there according to internal n.s.a. documents the agency collects millions of records every day from these links and in a period of thirty days at the end of two thousand and twelve one of the n.s.a.'s data warehouses in fort meade had process more than one hundred eighty million records including not just metadata but also the actual content of internet communications this program is run jointly by both the n.s.a. and the ukase intelligence service g c h q and it's important to note that this program is different from the previously disclosed prism program which which we learned got gathers data from internet companies through court orders instead here the n.s.a. is directly targeting tech companies without their knowledge including american tech companies and collecting data about their users both google and yahoo say they were unaware of this program and are concerned by it the n.s.a.
chief general keith alexander said that to his knowledge this program just doesn't exist now this latest revelation comes just as european union lawmakers wrap up days of meeting with u.s. intelligence officials to discuss n.s.a. overreaches regarding recent reports of mass collection of data in france and in spain as well as reports that the n.s.a. spies on thirty five world leaders including german chancellor on goal of merkel e.u. officials held a press conference today and archie caught up with one of them elmar brok the chairman of the european parliament committee on foreign affairs he's from germany here's what he had to say. we don't just talk about i'm going to talk about citizens. as a same you know and certainly so no it's been an inference that he and other e.u. officials were not to say they don't accept the n.s.a. explanations on spying and they won't be satisfied until the spying stops but just how genuine the e.u. is in there our outrage over spying that's questionable considering reports that
show many governments in europe working with the n.s.a. when it comes to data collection on their own citizens. and that we go to capitol hill where yesterday lawmakers heard from survivors of a drone attack in pakistan the briefing organized by florida congressman alan grayson gave a rare voice to those who are most affected by the united states is drone war program on hand was the family of sixty seven year old bibi who last year was targeted by a drone in a remote village in pakistan she was thrown twenty feet and killed instantly as she was gathering in a field with her two grandchildren they were injured in the strike her family has received no explanation from the u.s. government as to why this happened earlier r.t. spoke with the family here's what they had to say. blue for those like me like as a human being that i if i go there to congress and i speak to other humans that they'll sympathize and that they'll see that we are good people that we have done
nothing wrong so what happened to us is very unjust and as long as i'm telling the truth and they see that my children were injured and that my mom was killed. they'll see that we are wrong we aren't terrorists. but if they have good hearts and that they believe in humanity that i do hope that they will have the drones and find a solution to bring peace to my world didn't get a phone fortunately only five members of congress showed up to the briefing with congressman alan grayson to hear the story that included rush holt of new jersey june cuba annoyed john conyers of michigan and rick nolan of minnesota but despite the low turnout this was a rare event on capitol hill in which members of the u.s. government officially acknowledge that these strikes are actually happening and they're destroying wives something the current and previous administrations in the white house have been reluctant to do earlier i sat down with congressman alan grayson and i asked him what impact he hopes his briefing will have. i think that
over time it's going to have a great impact one of the laws of war of the use of military force in general is that we try to spare civilians we try to spare the innocent and the case of drones there have been documented reports of roughly a thousand innocent people who've been killed by these attacks virtually every observer says that the chance of killing an innocent is roughly one in five every time we launch one of these attacks one in five of the victims turns out to be entirely innocent and there are publicly available lists of almost two hundred children who have been killed by these attacks people have to start to wonder why are we so willing to do this when there's so much collateral damage that's evident here well why do you think it is that the administration has refused to do what you did yesterday which is acknowledge that this is happening explain these strikes and perhaps compensate the victims well i think that to some extent when you say the administration i'll make it clear that this is been
a longstanding policy of the u.s. government and not limited to the obama's tradition but the some extent the military industrial complex has a policy of denying obscuring attacking and to some degree turning the victims into the suppose that oppressors i think that we have made position taken positions with regard to actual threats to this country that turn out to be somewhat overstated to say the least and we avoid other ways of dealing with these problems that are maybe a little more low tech maybe a little more difficult in acquiring diplomacy but much more effective it seems to me that if we're talking about people whom we regard as our enemies operating on pakistani territory the obvious solution is to have the pakistanis clean up their own mess rather than trying to send error. death machines over to the other side of the world and do it for them to reports last week allege that the
drone strike specifically the one that your briefing highlighted yesterday amounts to unlawful killings do you agree with that claim that these are unlawful killings and should members of the command chain authorizing these strikes all the way to the top be held accountable well what you're referring to is the issue of whether these constitute war crimes typically in recent years when you're talking about war crimes whether in serbia or in parts of west africa or otherwise what that generally has to noted recently is the intentional killing of civilians i don't think we've seen the intentional killing of innocents but we've seen actions that seem to inevitably lead to the killing of innocents whether intentional or not and raise a grave danger on each occasion yesterday or here and we talked about the death of a woman in her sixties a woman who had never been political never been involved in any sort of insurgent activity probably couldn't even name the president feel states or you can find
america on a map and she was killed while doing her gardening. and her grandchildren who were with her that they were both wounded. obviously a terrible mistake mistakes like this do happen but they happen with alarming frequency during this drone program i think that expecting that an american looking at a screen somewhere in the continental united states and deciding on the basis of what he sees on a screen through telemetry who lives and who dies at locations eight or nine thousand miles away is just too hard to do and two are through accurately frankly it seems like hubris i want to shift gears here quick to something that happened on the house intelligence committee yesterday during the hearing when there was this exchange between chairman mike rogers and congressman adam schiff over whether or not the committee was informed of the n.s.a. . says' program which spied on world leaders here's just a quick clip of the exchange i'd be interested to know the stream and we would be
happy doesn't take you down to the committee and spend a couple of hours going through mounds of product that would allow a member to be as informed as a member wishes to be on sources and methods and all activities of the intelligence community under the national intelligence framework i would just say and i just think this we need to be careful about what i've type of i but i think we disagreed on us to use the classification and i think would be disingenuous mr chairman if you're suggesting we have information if we don't have it you allege that chairman rogers intelligence committee has withheld intelligence documents from you in the past and here we see an argument a public argument between two members of the committee over what they knew and when they knew about an n.s.a. program what sort of faith should the american people have in the congressional intelligence committees to provide oversight a little or none in fact what we see from the congressional from these congressional oversight committees regarding our so-called intelligence community is not the they're performing oversight rather overlooking and systematically doing
so i think that they become apologists for the spying industrial complex and i have literally never seen them do anything other than rationalize these in some cases gross abuses and constitutional violations particularly with regard to domestic surveillance. when it comes to these issues of drones and domestic surveillance these issues typically transcend party lines and you find progressive democrats like yourself working with libertarian republicans like some in the tea party as someone who's leveled quite a bit of criticism at the tea party what do you make of these new political coalitions that have formed in recent months and in light of these revelations both about drones and surveillance well i think that the real division you see these days is not between liberals and conservatives on these issues or for that matter between democrats or republicans i think the differences between members who are principled members who are scared the members who are principled understand that we
have a constitution that requires probable cause and particularity those are the explicit terms of the fourth amendment you can't get that you can't get information about people's private affairs unless you can demonstrate that either they are involved in criminal activity or there's reason to believe that they have information about other peeing people being involved in criminal activity that's the standard what's happening instead is a dragnet approach where the government collects everything and then purports to sift through it to try to find evidence of wrongdoing which is directly contrary to our privacy our dignity as human beings and our rights under the constitution those of us who are principled understand that and stand against it those of us who are fearful feel that every time the word the phrase nine eleven gets repeated they have to forget everything they know about the u.s. constitution and the oath they swore to uphold it u.s.
representative alan grayson from florida thank you now for the past few weeks we've been bringing you dispatches from guantanamo bay the united states is infamous prison archies honest answer churkin brings us her latest report from gitmo on the stark realities of the detention center. every morning at eight am the u.s. national anthem erupts across the beast that holds america's most scandalous president no one likes to be spit on no one wants to have their own torture hunger strikes and suicides have marred this place since two thousand and two and they're human beings after all there's no reason to expect that they enjoy being here you know we pretend otherwise prisoners held indefinitely in the name of the never ending war on terror whether they're innocent or guilty is not our job right now we have the court system determined that in just over a decade a total of seven hundred seventy nine prisoners the majority released without charges today one hundred sixty four remain over half of them cleared for release
but still kept locked up. on the other side of the barbed wire. life is a blast. in the water and it's nice. about here just like any common american town scared to come here but i mean it's absolutely beautiful place when you get around other stuff getting around the other stuff is not hard a lot of what goes on here is kept under a thick veil of denial and secrecy delta house is a hospital and library and this is also a place where patients are force fed and even though the hunger strike is largely and officially said to be over we know that at least fifteen people are continually being force fed here today a tube is passed down through a person's nostril and pushed all the way down to their stomach before it's passed down the nose we lubricate it and we give the patient a choice do they want to have the key which is the agent.
area or if they want. the tube. most of our patients have been using. in fact some of our patients are so used to this they will. described which nostril they want this while major world medical bodies are in agreement that force feeding is not ethical and should not be practiced the force feeding them i've got my clients of experienced in one tunnel they've certainly described it as torture the restraint chair that they're strapped into they actually call the torture chair an arabic force feeding takes up to forty five minutes and is performed twice a day the patients that had the civilian world have said it feel strange i've never heard and says no. i have not heard that good move fishes are beyond nonchalant about the highly criticized practice you might feel differently from the way i might feel it uncomfortable has been the most of it i have heard but they don't
even believe in what they're saying any more because they know it sounds stupid i volunteer that the procedure be demonstrated on me request declined the prisoners who've not met one another and speak different languages keep saying the same thing that we were tortured used. to the chair legs to the ground. strap across and they forced in a tube into our noses never in thirteen years have detainees been allowed to speak directly to a journalist while remaining it gives only leaking statements through lawyers they would love nothing more than to sit down with journalist and just tell them you know about their daily lives but communicating seems to only occur here if someone was a point where maybe they had been verbalizing a lot of hopelessness we were immediately intervening and trying to assist that person to make sure that there wasn't any thoughts of maybe wanting to harm themselves or in their lives with charts like these often used to pinpoint
patients despair you asked them how do you feel right now and they'll be able to point to it we have not had a patient in this area. thank heavens meanwhile six suicides and dozens of suicide attempts have taken place at the detention facility we haven't seen any autopsies the u.s. government hasn't released any formal reports or findings we're now outside two active camps at guantanamo camp five old single cells where the so-called less compliant detainees are held camp number six is one filled with communal cells when officials deem that detainees have behaved better there will be warded by being allowed to live in groups while detainees are kept away from us what we witness are clean empty prison cells with cozy pajamas colgate toothpaste and maximum security shampoos paraded in front of journalists as proof everything is so much better here than any silly horror stories we all have heard and forty one ton of cuba.
then moving on to a health and human services secretary kathleen sebelius faced off with a rock this house energy and commerce committee she took tough questions and criticisms from republican lawmakers over the disastrous website problems in rollout of the affordable care act better known as obamacare she acknowledged that there have been significant problems i am as frustrated and angry as anyone with the flawed launch of health care dot gov. so let me say directly to these americans you deserve better i apologize i'm accountable to you for fixing these problems and i'm committed to earning your confidence back by fixing the site well there are new allegations that the obamacare website went live without proper tests to make sure it can secure users personal information congressman mike rogers press secretary sebelius on that issue. you have exposed millions of americans because you all according to your memo believed it was an acceptable risk don't you think
you have the obligation to tell the american people that we're going to put you in this system but you'd be where you it information is likely to be vulnerable the website troubles are just one of the many problems the obama administration is dealing with during the implementation of its signature health reform law another focus is on the administration's credibility when it promised americans that if they like their current health insurance plans they can keep it turns out a lot of americans are getting dropped from their current plans as health insurance companies make changes to those plans to comply with new standards laid out in the affordable care act all of these troubles have people on the left and people on the right shaking their head in the left you have people arguing that this is why the single payer system would be better it doesn't have individual plans it doesn't have a complex website it just provides health care and on the right you have people who have always been skeptical of obama saying i told you so well are there i spoke with one of those on the right congressman leonard lance of new jersey and i first
asked him what he made of the last few weeks of the obamacare rollout i believe that the website has been a debacle that was the word used by terry have health and human services today and i think it has to be repaired as quickly as possible well with regard to this website you know this really wasn't the work of the government per se it was the work of private contractors and this is increasingly a problem throughout government you could say it's a systemic problem of private contractors not fulfilling an obligation and bilking the government out of a lot of money this happens in the department of defense of the tearooms of billions of dollars so why is there so much attention directed at obamacare in this private contractor issue but less attention directed to these other issues of private contractors i think we should examine all time. yes we have contracts in the private sector sometimes they work and sometimes they do not and of course
c.m.s. was in control of the private contractors and a very poor job we've done the president as he was touting this law for the last few years often said if you like your health insurance plan you can keep it we now have reports that a lot of americans are losing their health insurance plans you think the white house was misleading or. certainly the statement was inaccurate in the washington post today gave it for print now gail and i do not believe that that is an accurate statement and i'm sorry the president made it more than half of all bankruptcies in america are a result of medical bankruptcies people who get sick and can't afford their medical bills and all of those people about three quarters of them have health insurance which suggests that there's a major problem with many current health insurance plans that are offered out there and these insufficient health plans that are costing the owner their livelihood and taxpayers enormous amounts of money and that's what the laws seem to be trying to
go after so when people lose these plans it's because they don't meet the new requirements of what health insurance plan should be should we be trying to protect these insufficient health care plans. no i think that there are some portions of the law that are good but other portions of the law are bad for example i don't think there needs to be maternity coverage for a young man coming into the health care market and so i think it depends on the situation where you have that you know you agree with a lot of provisions of the law both parties agree on a number of obamacare provisions ones that protect people with preexisting conditions ones that get rid of lifetime caps allow younger people to stay on their plans. republicans have said they want to keep these provisions in place but my question is how do you implement these favorable policies without the stuff that makes. an economically possible life the exchanges life the individual mandate and so on the stuff that republicans want to get rid of. i believe you can do that in
a variety of ways in what i have suggested and i've been a co-sponsor of purchase of policies across state lines health. also tort reform and there is no tort reform in the president's law according to congressional budget office tort reform would would really affect one half of one percent of total medical costs in the country is a real legitimate solution. i think it's part of a larger solution and i think that we should make sure that the good portions of the law continue into effect but i don't like the fact that many people are losing their policies and will have to pay more than they had anticipated but they will get subsidies for that more and they are paying for a much better plan but i see the argument you're making which leads to people saying well why not just get rid of health care doctor of get rid of individual
health insurance plans adopt a single payer system which is in use all around the world and studies show offer less expensive care to more people with better health results seniors love medicare which is a form of single payer system isn't it fair that seniors can enjoy this but young people care i do not favor a single payer system i think that when the democratic party controlled both houses of congress with president obama in the white house there were not the votes to pass this thing bill payer system traditionally our health coverage is through our employment in this country and i want to build on that system because congressman one last question which i think underpins this whole debate and members weighing on different side to sides of this issue do you think that health care should be a basic human right i certainly think we should move in the direction of making sure that everyone is covered and that should be the goal toward which we should be moving unfortunately not everybody is covered under the president's law because the
medicaid expansion is a matter of requiring states to do that has been ruled as unconstitutional by the supreme court and so i think we have to work together in a bipartisan capacity. to insure as many americans as possible but is a private health insurance system which prophetesses health care and you actually get more profits by denying health care the system to bring about this universal health care for all americans goal that you have. i have the goal of achieving as much coverage as possible for as many americans as possible and i hope moving forward we can work in a bipartisan compactly congressman leonard lance from new jersey thanks so much for coming on. american workers come a long way since we fought the red coats with. muskets during the revolutionary war since then we've expanded our weapons arsenal do include the use of out of bombs drones tamari up tomahawk missiles you know just to name a few so what will the military come up with next tonight's resident laurie her
from this explores the use of britney spears music to fight off some always pirates . and their powerful weapons that the rest of the world should fear no i'm not talking about our giant supply of nuclear weapons or our store of chemical weapons i don't mean i'm drones it's not even our giant military that we spread all over the planet that the rest of the world should be or most of the american weapon the rest of the world needs to really fear is britney spears don't believe me just ask somali pirates who were on terrified from britney spears songs.
according the navy officials onboard supertankers off the east coast of africa the last thing britney's music is a very effective way of deterring pirates specifically britney's looks i did it again and hit me baby one more time we had been chosen by the security team of the us navy as our second line of defense against pirates to the point he was speakers at the pirate ships taking care to in the speakers so we had the pirates of their own crew is affected to the horrible music and then they blast the songs at the pirates so active officers say that they warily need to resort to firing guns they say the pirates can't stand western culture. our music so much to the point where they will immediately retreat as soon as the navy starts playing the music these are not hipster music snobs these pirates they are not frivolous men that they still believe born to guardianships and kidnap crews and then they demand
millions of dollars in ransom but american pop songs are so awful that these hardened criminals will flee some are even crediting its use for the decrease in pirate attacks in the region completely it's certainly not the first time an american music has been used as a weapon bruce springsteen's born in the usa with its over the top patriotism has been used to get prisoners at guantanamo bay to top barry manilow as music has been used to drive off voyagers in new zealand christina aguilera dirty with use during interrogations of suspected nine eleven hijackers so us police and military know that a lot of its own country's music is so full of pensive to the rest of the world it can be used as a weapon that might be the most dangerous instead he's part of this whole story
tonight let's talk about that by following me on twitter at the rest of it. and that's going to do it for now for more on the stories we covered go to youtube dot com slash our to america or check out our website r t v dot com slash usa you can follow me on twitter sam sax and don't forget to tune in at nine pm for larry king no tonight's guests or dinner cliff you might remember him from harry potter and also michael c. hall the star actor of the hit t.v. series dexter till then that is it.